It's not an entirely ridiculous question; the first ever Barbie, simply attired in an elegant one-piece, can now reach up to pounds 1,500. But according to Freya Simms of Bonhams Auctioneers, it's not necessarily the original cost that makes something valuable. What makes a Barbie collectable is her rarity, whether she comes with her original packaging and accessories, and perhaps most of all, whether she is a "fashion icon representative of her time". Irony of ironies, once you remove the Barbie from her elaborate packaging and start to play with her, she begins to lose her value. There's a lesson there for little girls everywhere, I think.
Although the GA is molded from bisque porcelain, instead of ordinary plastic, she is wearing an Isabell Kristensen-style frock (see Why Are They Famous?) in red velvet with with fifty red roses and a trim which "flares dramatically at the bottom into dozens of shiny gold metallic pleats". Even the most indulgent observer would hesitate to describe her either as a fashion icon or indeed as representative. But GA's Barbie real problem, her secret shame, is that, far from being "limited edition", as Mattel claim on the box, she is one of a cast of thousands (this little baby is number 19,788). Mattel won't even tell us how many are being made. It's all rather sad.
So from a collector's point of view, GA Barbie is a bad bet. In her defence, it has to be said that she is a beautiful doll and if you've lots of spare cash the Golden Anniversary Barbie would make a lovely playmate.Reuse content